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Santa Monica (area) - 1st Anniv Rec

Bazel Jan 12, 2008 07:08 PM

A friend will be in the Santa Monica area next week and will be celebrating his first wedding anniversary. looking for rec's that are romantic, nice ambiance, good food and pricey is ok - just not wanting to break the bank on one meal as this is just part of a week worth of celebrating.

Willing to travel some as they'll have a car and will be on the road quite a bit. Just don't want too long of a drive back to hotel after dinner (and likely some wine).



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    New Trial RE: Bazel Jan 12, 2008 11:27 PM

    Keeping West of the 405: If they would like French, Melisse [11th and Wilshire] would be the high-end choice, with Chez Mimi [26th South of San Vicente] being the moderate priced choice. For Italian, high end would be Vincenti [San Vicente East of Bundy] or Valentino's [Pico West of Centinela], with Drago [Wilshire West of 26th] being a tad more moderate. For Cal-American (and game), Josie [Pico West of 26th] or Michael's (on the patio) [3rd North of Wilshire]. As a bit of a wild card, Abode [Colorado and Ocean]--I have not been back since the opening chef left.

    1. b
      benken RE: Bazel Jan 13, 2008 06:12 AM

      La Cachette (French in Century City)
      Saddle Peak Lodge
      Inn of the Seventh Ray
      Valentino (though I wasn't super impressed with the food believe it or not)
      Joe's in Venice

      4 Replies
      1. re: benken
        malibu1 RE: benken Jan 13, 2008 07:28 AM

        These are great suggestions, but we always celebrate at the Ivy at the Shore.
        1535 Ocean Ave
        Santa Monica, CA 90401
        (310) 393-3113

        1. re: malibu1
          Bria Silbert RE: malibu1 Jan 13, 2008 07:33 AM

          To add to the high end restaurants, I would suggest Capo 1810 Ocean Ave
          Santa Monica, (310) 394-5550 Bruce Marder's small, special Italian restaurant and I would consider Jiraffe 502 Santa Monica Blvd Santa Monica, CA (310) 917-6671

          1. re: Bria Silbert
            Servorg RE: Bria Silbert Jan 13, 2008 03:40 PM

            I'm not exactly sure what the OP meant by not wanting to "break the bank" on this one meal, but I have a feeling that Capo would accomplish the breaking, with a an arm and a leg in casts as well (after getting the bill) for good measure.

          2. re: malibu1
            rainydayfilms RE: malibu1 Mar 16, 2008 06:42 PM

            I had a terrible experience at the Ivy at the shore - actively bad food, and very overpriced. How can lobster ravioli go so wrong? I think it's one of those particular LA places where the possibility of celebrity spotting outweighs any attention to food. Michael's is also mediocre, though I have heard it was once great. Josie's is amazing - one of the best meals of my life. Jiraffe is good too, but the atmosphere is not exciting.

        2. s
          Snoopy RE: Bazel Jan 13, 2008 02:07 PM

          How about La Botte? I had two very nice dinners there in November. Josie also came to mind.

          1. c
            caldad02 RE: Bazel Jan 13, 2008 03:52 PM

            Ocean Avenue Seafood!

            Wonderful variety of seafood.

            Attentive service.

            Reasonable prices.

            Save room for the chocolate bread pudding!

            1 Reply
            1. re: caldad02
              Emme RE: caldad02 Mar 16, 2008 10:26 PM

              Good service and reasonably priced, yes, but romantic is not an adjective I'd use for Ocean Ave. I think the Loster at sunset is much more romantic...

            2. ElJeffe RE: Bazel Jan 13, 2008 09:00 PM


              1 Reply
              1. re: ElJeffe
                foodseeker RE: ElJeffe Jan 14, 2008 12:49 PM

                I also recommend Jiraffe, and second Joes in Venice. Joes may be a bit further, but it is wonderful. Have been to both places for celebratory dinners with my husband and would wholeheartedly recommend either.

              2. o
                ozhead RE: Bazel Jan 14, 2008 01:51 PM

                If we continue to have this terrific weather, your friend and his bride could not get more romantic than the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga. And I will always recommend the Saddle Peak Lodge, though (depending on the state of your friend's wallet) it might be break-the-bank expensive -- figure dinner for 2, with a bottle of wine, around $200. But it sure meets the criteria of (a) romantic, (b) nice ambience, (c) good food, and (d) pricey.

                1. n
                  nosh RE: Bazel Jan 14, 2008 03:23 PM

                  If they haven't been, Chinois on Main is still a wonderful experience. All food is served to be shared, the flavors are bold and delicious, and if they split two smaller plates, one entree, and had dessert the bill would remain under control.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nosh
                    anothernotch RE: nosh Jan 14, 2008 03:30 PM

                    Agreed, Chinois, Joe's and Jiraffe are all great selections.

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